Char-Broil Edge Electric Grill Review: Can an Electric Grill Compete With Gas?

Char-Broil Edge Electric Grill Review

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Virtually all electric grills on the market today are compact, portable-style grills like the Weber Lumin – but Char-Broil changed that with the Edge. It’s a full-sized grill that is 100% electric – but can it really compete with gas?

I got my hands on a Char-Broil Edge to test that out. In this Char-Broil Edge Electric Grill review, I’m going to be breaking down the specs and features of the grill, along with giving you the scoop on performance, build quality, and design to let you know if the Char-Broil Edge is a good buy.

Char-Broil Edge Electric Grill
4.2
$589.98
Pros:
  • Sleek and beautiful design
  • Convenient 5°F temperature increments
  • AutoClean feature
  • Lots of storage space
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
Cons:
  • Long preheat time
  • Food sticking to stainless steel grates
Check Amazon Price Check Char-Broil Price
03/06/2024 06:01 pm GMT

Char-Broil sent me this grill in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Char-Broil Edge overview: first thoughts and opinions

The Char-Broil Edge is a beautiful electric grill that gives you the look and feel of a full-sized grill without the need to burn charcoal or propane.

a close up angle view of the Char Broil Edge electric grill

Electric grills aren’t a new invention, but they have been gaining popularity in recent years. They are an eco-friendly alternative to propane or charcoal and they open up the world of outdoor grilling to people that live in condos, apartments, or other spaces where different types of fuel aren’t an option.

Char-Broil Edge specifications:

Dimensions:45”H x 48”W x 20.25”D
Weight:109 lbs
Grill Material:Stainless Steel; Painted Steel
Fuel Type:Electric
Grate Material:Aluminum
Price:Check Latest Price

I absolutely love the digital temperature control panel on the Edge. The large display is sleek and easy-to-read. It’s large enough to see from the other side of my yard.

The temperature control knob is easy-to-set and allows you to adjust the temperature in increments of 5°F so you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to cooking temperature.

The grill maintains a steady temperature once it is preheated and I found that the grates heated very evenly, so you don’t have to worry about hot spots or cool spots on your cooking surface.

What I like:

  • Extremely sleek & beautiful design.
  • Temperature settings can be set in 5°F increments allowing a lot of heat flexibility.
  • AutoClean feature makes clean-up a breeze.
  • Lots of storage in the cabinet of the unit.
  • Very lightweight (109lbs) and easy to move around your backyard.

What I don’t like:

  • The grill takes a while to preheat (up to 40 minutes for maximum temperature).
  • The grates are stainless steel and can lead to issues with food sticking without oil.

We think the Char-Broil Edge is the best full size electric grill on the market today.

Unboxing and assembly of the Char-Broil Edge

As with just about any full-sized grill, the assembly of the Char-Broil Edge is a pretty significant process. It comes totally unassembled, so you definitely want to plan to set aside 30-45 minutes to get it put together.

I also recommend getting a friend to assist you if you can. While it can be put together by a single person, there are steps during the assembly process where an extra set of hands really comes in handy.

One thing that I really appreciated is that Char-Broil includes a screwdriver in the hardware kit. While most people probably have a screwdriver laying around their garage, the one that Char-Broil sent has a slimmer handle that makes it easier to get in between some of the smaller spaces.

Char Broil Edge grill grates and heating element

Another cool feature is that a lot of the bolts for the panels come already in place in the panels. It saved some time that you would normally spend fumbling around with the bolts during assembly, so I appreciated Char-Broil making it easier on the consumer in that regard.

The instruction manual is very detailed and walks you through each and every step. Overall I would say the assembly of the Char-Broil Edge is about the same as assembling any other full-sized grill of similar size.

Char-Broil Edge features

The Char-Broil Edge has a beautiful, sleek design. It’s a good-looking grill, point blank. The exterior is made of stainless steel and the build quality is solid, plus Char-Broil includes some really great design features that I appreciated.

The Edge, in comparison to a gas grill, has the equivalence of a 4-burner grill. The temperature control panel is fully digital and allows you to adjust the temperature in increments of 5°F with the simple turn of the knob. The Edge also provides a wide range of temperatures from 200°F all the way up to 700°F, so there is a ton of flexibility with what you are able to cook on the grill.

a close up view of the Char Broil temperature controller knob

Another great feature is the AutoClean mode. The grill has a self-cleaning setting built right in with the simple touch of a button, plus the grill shuts off automatically once the cleaning process is complete.

The cooking grates are made from aluminum, which isn’t my first choice when it comes to cooking surfaces. I would prefer a more nonstick option, but the overall design of the grates is nice.

One thing that I really wasn’t a fan of was simply how long the grill takes to heat up. The preheating process is significantly longer than it would be on a propane counterpart:

TemperaturePreheating Time
350°F15 minutes
500°F18 minutes
700°F40 minutes

While I don’t typically need to get a grill all the way up to a 700°F temperature, a 40+ minute preheat time is pretty intense. If you wanted to grill something at a lower temperature and then reverse-sear it at the end of the cook, I think you would have issues with the meat cooling off too much prior to being able to sear it on this grill.

I was really impressed with the design of the temperature control panel. It’s a fully digital screen with a sleek, round knob that is used to adjust temperature. The grill allows you to set the temperature and will let off a series of beeps when the grill is fully preheated.

One benefit of the Edge compared to a gas grill is the ability to set the temperature to an exact setting and not have to worry about the temperature fluctuating during the cooking process.

Char Broil Edge grill with an open door and storage space

Finally, I really love the body of the grill. It has a door on the front that is secured with a small magnet to ensure it stays shut. There is a ton of room for storage in the body of the grill for tools and accessories, and they even include a small shelf inside to maximize storage space.

Testing the Char-Broil Edge

Before I started cooking on the Edge, I wanted to run a few tests to see how the grill performs. The first test that I did was a bread test.

I preheated the grill to 350°F and placed slices of white bread on every section of the grill grates. I do this test with grills to check if the grates heat evenly and determine if there are any hot spots that I need to worry about while I’m cooking.

The Char-Broil passed the bread test with flying colors. Almost every single slice of bread was cooked evenly and I was impressed by how consistent the temperature remains across the entire cooking surface.

the bread test on the Char Broil Edge electric grill

This was also the point where I noticed the aluminum grates weren’t my favorite feature on the grill. The bread was sticking to the grates significantly and I had trouble flipping some of the slices over because they were really stuck on there.

You can help the grates become more nonstick with a coating of oil or cooking spray, but again, I would really prefer a more nonstick material for the grill grates.

Cooking on the Char-Broil Edge

After I had finished testing the Edge, I wanted to cook a few things to see how the grill performed. I opted for a few burgers, some asparagus, and a few sweet peppers to see how the grill handled both meat and vegetables when cooking.

As I mentioned before, the preheating the Edge takes some time. Once you plug the grill in, you can set the temperature easily in 5°F increments using the temperature knob. I set the grill to 350°F for grilling my burgers and veggies.

One downside of the electric grill design is that you can only set the cooking surface to one temperature. On a gas grill, you typically have multiple burners that you can set to different temperatures which is nice when you are cooking multiple things at one time. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it does take some getting used to if you have experience with gas grills in the past.

Char Broil Edge electric grill with open lid

After about 15 minutes, the grill was preheated to 350°F. One feature I really like about this grill is that it notifies you when it is preheated by playing a digital melody. You can be hanging out in the backyard with friends and the grill is going to let you know when it’s preheated and ready to cook on.

I started by spraying a bit of olive oil on the grates prior to adding my food because of the sticking issues that I had with the bread test that I performed. I found that the addition of a bit of oil to grates really helped make them more non-stick and easier to cook on, so I definitely recommend oiling the grates prior to cooking on the Edge.

The burgers took about 10 minutes per side to reach a medium temperature, which is slightly longer than I would normally expect on a gas grill.

grilled burger patties and vegetables on the Char Broil Edge electric grill

I was able to get nice grill marks on the burgers, even at the lower temperature of 350°F and the burgers remained very juicy. I think because the grill is electric (versus having an actual flame), the meat was able to retain a lot of moisture because there weren’t big fluctuations in heat during the cooking process.

The peppers and asparagus also got a beautiful char and the grates cooked everything very evenly. The one thing that really impressed me the most about the Char-Broil Edge was the fact that the grates keep a very even temperature across the entire cooking surface.

Cleaning the Char-Broil Edge

One amazing feature that Char-Broil included when they designed the Edge is the self-cleaning feature. While you can use a grill brush to scrape off any burnt bits as you would with a normal grill, you also have the option of simply pushing a button to start the AutoClean function.

a grill brush on the stainless steel grill grates of the Char Broil Edge electric grill

The AutoClean function takes care of any leftover food residue easily by heating the grill and burning off anything left behind. Plus, the grill is set up to turn off automatically after the AutoClean process has completed so once you set it to clean, it pretty much does its thing and it’s very hands-off at that point.

I found that the AutoClean function did a great job of cleaning the grill, but the grill grates are also removable so you can take them out and give them a good scrub in your kitchen as well for really stuck-on messes. They are very lightweight and easy-to-handle, plus they are dishwasher safe.

Final thoughts: should you buy the Char-Broil Edge?

If you’re in the market for an electric grill, the Char-Broil Edge is a great option. It has a sleek design with all of the benefits of a full-sized grill but without the hassle of propane or charcoal.

It is difficult to say that it truly competes with gas or charcoal options on the market because electric grills do have some setbacks.

The inability to set up a multi-zone cooking area is a big one for me because I like to grill multiple things at a time and like the ability to set different temperatures across my cooking surface, which you cannot do with an electric grill.

If you are living in a condo or apartment that doesn’t allow you to use another fuel source for grilling, then I would say that the Char-Broil Edge is one of the best electric grills on the market today. It gives you all of the great things about a full-sized grill without the hassle of handling the fuel.

I think this grill would also be great for someone that wants to do a bit of grilling, but may not have the ability to handle large propane canisters or charcoal.

If you are deciding between an electric grill or a gas grill and you don’t have restrictions based on where you live, I would still be inclined to recommend a gas grill or pellet grill because they are more versatile and flexible than the electric models on the market.

Char-Broil Edge Electric Grill
4.2
$589.98
Pros:
  • Sleek and beautiful design
  • Convenient 5°F temperature increments
  • AutoClean feature
  • Lots of storage space
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
Cons:
  • Long preheat time
  • Food sticking to stainless steel grates
Check Amazon Price Check Char-Broil Price
03/06/2024 06:01 pm GMT

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